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30 April 2006: Victims of the Holocaust remembered at Babi Yar

01.05.2006 |

Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day is officially marked on 30 April, the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.  Relatives of those murdered at Babi Yar, and those who saved the lives of Jewish people during World War II attended a memorial gathering in Kyiv today.

The Righteous among the Nations. Those who value another’s life as their own. For the victims of genocide, these people are like saints. Their names are carved on the wall of the Garden of the Righteous among the Nations in Jerusalem.

81-year-old Kyiv resident, Olha Rozhchenko, saved the lives of two people in 1941. For almost half a year she hid her two friends – Manya and Helya – in her flat.

There are more than fifteen hundred Righteous among the Nations, like Pani Olha, in Ukraine[1]

Olha Rozhchenko recounts:

- “They went with a whole crowd of people just as if going on some demonstration, only carrying their belongings. They dragged people who were ill on wheelchairs, it was terrible to see. I heard a knock at the window which was open, and saw Helya.  They fell and cried out: “They’re shooting us all!”

A joint service of prayer was held at the Monument to the Victims of Babi Yar .

The Chief Rabbi of Ukraine read the names of those murdered at Babi Yar.  The remains of thirty thousand people lie here.  Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

Ariel Khaikin, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine:

The generation who lived through this, is passing and try in schools, in synagogues [to hold the memory]. We remember. This can never be forgotten”.

In Soviet times, when the authorities prohibited such gatherings, more people came to Babi Yar than now, members of the Jewish community note. They say that therefore they will do everything to ensure that mankind never forgets the Holocaust.

Natalka Tukhuzova, Mykhailo Putyata, Channel 5

Babi Yar [Ukrainian: Babyn Yar] is a ravine near Kyiv where thirty thousand Jews were murdered by the Nazis on 29 and 30 September 1941.  In the same ravine lie the remains of many thousands of other victims of Nazi atrocities, murdered during the occupation  [translator’s note]

[1]  According to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, there have been 2,139 Ukrainian people honoured for risking their own lives to save Jews during the Second World War  (translator’s note)

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